InCrowd finds that physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and hospital administrators have limited access to social media on work computers connected to the corporate network.
CAMBRIDGE, MA, OCTOBER 30, 2013–InCrowd, the only provider of real time market intelligence for the pharmaceutical industry, released a study last week highlighting findings on social media access in the hospital setting. Of those surveyed, social media is blocked for 59% of healthcare professionals working in hospitals. To gain insight regarding access to social media, InCrowd queried 640 healthcare professionals, which included: 407 physicians, 99 nurses, 84 nurse practitioners and 50 hospital administrators. Questions touched on the benefits of social media, the impact of social media access on patient care and the barriers to allowing social media in a hospital setting.
The 59% of healthcare professionals who are blocked from accessing social media on corporate computers reported that the largest barrier to allowing access to social media is employee misuse, wasted time and lowered productivity. An additional 25% cited other barriers including virus prevention, security and privacy concerns. While these policies might seem strict, only 38% support policy changes that would provide additional access.
Of the 41% who are allowed access to social media, more than half listed the greatest benefit as the ability to stay up to date with information. Additional benefits cited include better communication and connectivity as well as the ability to form stronger connections with patients. When asked if they would change anything about their hospital’s social media policy, 59% of this group reported they would not make any changes. Additionally, 29% of this group believes that blocking social media access would have a negative impact on patient care.
“Social media plays a significant role in our daily lives, it’s a major channel for communicating events,” says Kathleen Poulos, Co-Founder and CMO of InCrowd, Inc. “Our health is an important personal topic, and having the ability to access trustworthy information and connect with others in a community environment makes social media a critical component in health care communications. Closing this channel to healthcare professionals creates an unnecessary barrier. ”
Although there is risk in allowing social media access in the healthcare setting, this risk can be managed by developing clear social media policies and educating staff on the appropriate use of social media in the work place.